Customer personas are fictional characters whose goals represent a larger group of people. They are research outputs, created by analysing stories and quantitative data about your customers, related to your product. No matter how good, personas aren’t stand-ins for involving real people with diverse experiences in your design process.
Personas allow teams to have conversations about what to focus on when developing solutions. They help articulate what customers value, what they need to achieve and what is getting in the way of them achieving their goals (for example, changing their name, paying a fine, or booking an appointment).
If you’ve not done user research, such as interviews, customer journey mapping, and reviewing quantitative data, you’re not ready to create personas.
Based on your first-hand research, create a draft persona for each segment or group of customer needs
Include goals, and barriers.
The information that can be captured for the persona is:
- Name of the persona or group
- Occupation (where relevant to the project)
If your research indicates that demography (such as gender, income, education, or location) significantly differentiates your customers' goals and barriers, you might include that detail in the persona. Inclusion of demography should be done carefully, as including demography (such as employment status, gender, ethnicity) can often reinforce assumptions about marginalised groups, and can result in people from marginalised groups being discussed, without having the opportunity to be a part of the conversation.
Goals and challenges
- Primary goals and what gets in the way (pain points)
- How the product or service could help achieve these goals
Story from the future
Some personas include a short story to help project teams agree on how things could change and communicate that through an improved, customer experience.